The gallery is home to Muppets, Sesame Street characters and more than 500 Henson creations and artifacts. It is considered to be perhaps the largest example in the country of the late Henson’s work. Anthony got to know Henson in the early 1970s through puppetry festivals. Their professional relationship grew and, after Henson died in 1990, Anthony was able to convince the Henson family that Atlanta would be the right home for the puppeteer’s most iconic characters. The Henson wing opened in 2015.
“It makes me feel proud,” Anthony told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2014. “The exciting part is, this will be a living, breathing legacy to the genius of Jim Henson that people can look at and can be a part of.”
Anthony oversaw the development of the Center’s Global Collection Gallery that showcases puppetry traditions over five continents. The more than 200 international puppets and Henson puppets are housed in a 15,000-square-foot, $14 million gallery.
After Anthony officially retires from his current duties, he’ll become executive advisor, the Center said in a statement. He’ll help with fundraising and strategic planning. He will also serve on the U.S. division of Union Internationale de la Marionnette, the international organization for the art of puppetry.
While the Center holds a national search for a new executive director, Beth Schiavo, will be interim managing director.